Thomas Dougherty, Lewis Roca Photo

Thomas J. Dougherty

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Tom brings the unique combination of linear and creative thinking to solve his clients' most important issues.

Tom Dougherty represents a broad range of commercial, utility, energy, government, and private clients in litigation, regulatory, legislative, and public policy matters. Tom has extensive experience in electric utility, clean energy, and infrastructure projects as well as permitting, and eminent domain proceedings. Tom leads the Firm’s industry team focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities associated with the decommissioning, recycling, and repowering of renewable energy facilities that have reached the end of their useful life. With deep experience in the energy, utilities, and infrastructure arena, Tom provides clients with practical legal advice, allowing him to serve as a strong advocate for clients. As a lawyer and an engineer, Tom brings a unique understanding of the technical and legal aspects of clients' projects and an effective problem-solving perspective.

Personal Approach

Tom’s clients don’t distinguish him as outside counsel. They consider him part of the team and he is the first call when an issue arises. Tom is detail-oriented making it a priority to understand every aspect of his client’s business. Committed to his client’s success, Tom brings a strategic, forward-thinking yet practical approach to his clients’ needs. Described as a holistic problem solver, his solutions are focused on the best interest of his clients.

Tom previously worked as a consulting engineer on a variety of power generation, manufacturing, and government projects. Now, he enjoys all Colorado has to offer.

More About Thomas J. Dougherty


  • J.D., University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Order of St. Ives, 1999
  • B.S., University of Maryland, 1985

Bar Admissions

  • Wyoming, 2016
  • Colorado, 1999

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • Colorado State Judicial District Courts
  • Colorado Supreme Court
  • Colorado Court of Appeals


  • Colorado Energy Coalition, Co-chair, 2017-2018; and Member, Public Policy Committee, 2012-2018
  • Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Board of Governors, 2012-2021
  • City Council, Councilman, City of Greenwood Village, Colorado, 2017-2021
  • Board of Adjustments and Appeals, Chair, 2012-2017, City of Greenwood Village, Colorado
  • Generation and Transmission Lawyers Association, Member
  • Electric Cooperative Bar Association, Member
  • Energy Bar Association, Member, EBA Rocky Mountain Chapter
  • Colorado Bar Association, Eminent Domain Committee, Member
  • Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program, Mentor
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member

Representative Matters

Energy, Alternative Energy, Telecommunications, and Utilities

  • Represent regional generation and transmission company in organized electricity market matters.

  • Represented government agency in development of distributed solar power project.

  • Represented various Colorado ranch and landowners in the development of wind and solar renewable energy projects.
  • Advised project owner in connection with permitting issues related to development of ethanol production facility.
  • Represented major energy company in connection with interstate petroleum products pipeline permitting issues.
  • Advised electric utility on power purchase agreements related to distributed generation sources.
  • Represented state government infrastructure authority in negotiations related to development of major interstate high voltage electric transmission projects.
  • Co-lead counsel for a Colorado electric utility company in a landmark case applying for the first time Colorado law which authorizes the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to overturn a local government's land-use decision.
  • Lead counsel for a national electric and gas utility company in connection with the potential municipalization of the company's Colorado electric power transmission and distribution system.
  • Co-lead counsel for a Colorado water and sanitation district in municipal exclusion proceedings that resulted in the establishment of a joint operating authority responsible for the district's and the municipality's interconnected water and sewer systems.
  • Represents regional electric utility in planning, permitting, regulatory approval, and development of additions to interstate high voltage electric transmission system.
  • Represented international utility holding company in the acquisition of a U.S. gas utility company.
  • Represent municipal wastewater utility.

Eminent Domain

  • Represented international energy company in development of interstate crude oil pipeline.
  • Co-lead counsel in an appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court affirming a regional electric power generation and transmission company's eminent domain authority.
  • Lead counsel for a national electric and gas utility company in connection with the potential municipalization of the company's Colorado electric power transmission and distribution system.
  • Lead counsel in eminent domain proceedings on behalf of a regional electric power generation and transmission company in connection with construction of interstate electric transmission lines.
  • Represent water utility in eminent domain proceeding for major intrastate water pipeline project.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2021-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2014-2024
  • Colorado Super Lawyers, Utilities, 2012-2021, Top 100 Lawyers, 2016
  • Denver Business Journal, "Who's Who in Energy," 2014-2015
  • Law Week Colorado, Barrister’s Choice for Best Renewable Energy Lawyer, 2015
  • 5280 Magazine, "Top Lawyers," 2015




  • Presenter, "Conservation Easements and Utility Infrastructure," National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Annual Legal Conference, 2022
  • Presenter, "Public Utilities Commission Role in Eminent Domain," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, September 30, 2021
  • Presenter, "City of Lamar Utilities Board v. Southeast Colorado Power Assn. – Building on Home Light & Power?" Colorado Rural Electric Association, Legal Seminar, October 2, 2020
  • Panel Moderator, "The Path Toward Creating an RTO for Colorado," Energy Innovations Summit, September 14, 2020
  • Presenter, "Renewable Energy: Why the Construction Industry is a Fan," U.S. Law Network Client Conference, March 29, 2019
  • Presenter, "Drones in the Construction Industry," National Association of Security Bond Producers, October 6, 2017
  • Presenter, "UAS Laws and Regulations," Provisor's EVLAW Affinity Group, September 21, 2017
  • Presenter, "UAS Opportunities for Coops," National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, July and August, 2017
  • Presenter, "UAS Federal and State Legal and Regulatory Considerations," Colorado Springs City Attorney's Office, April 2017
  • Moderator, "UAS Trends and Legislation," Rocky Mountain Unmanned Symposium, March 2017
  • Presenter, "UAS Regulatory and Legal Considerations," USLAW EduNet Webinar, February, 2017 
  • Presenter, "UAS in the Real Estate Industry," Denver Metro Association of Realtors, January 2017
  • Presenter, "UAS in the Oil and Gas Industry," National Webinar, Kinetic, November 13, 2016 
  • Presenter, "UAS for Electric Utilities," EUCI Conference, October 19, 2016 
  • Presenter, "UAS in the Construction Industry," National Webinar, Associated General Contractors of America, October 12, 2016 
  • Presenter, "Overview of Current UAS Issues," Cactus Club, September 29, 2016 
  • Presenter, "Business Liability Issues Related to UAS Operations," USLAW Fall Conference, September 24, 2016
  • Presenter, "Federal Drone Regulations and Applicable State and Local Laws," Associated General Contractors of America, September 13 and 15, 2016 
  • Moderator for Panel Discussion, “Higher Education’s Work on Energy Innovations,” Energy Innovations Summit, September 12, 2016
  • Presenter, "“Working with Railroads,” National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, July 19, 2016
  • Presenter, "Larson v. Sinclair and the Future of Pipeline Condemnation Cases," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Property Rights - Who Owns the Airspace?" Colorado CLE, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones in the Construction Industry," USLAW, April 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones, Utilities, and Right-of-Way Considerations," Kinetic, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Key Considerations for a Drone Program," Kinetic, March 2016
  • Presenter, "Drone Law and Opportunities for Electric Cooperatives," Colorado Rural Electric Association, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Drones and Right-of-way Considerations," International Right-of-Way Association, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Making the Business Case for Drones," Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, February 2016
  • Presenter, "Drone Law Update," Colorado Cattlemen's Association, January 2016
  • Presenter, "A Drone Law Overview for Corporate Counsel," Association of Corporate Counsel, January 2016
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Legal Issues and Legislative Responses,” New Mexico State Bar Association, October 2015
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Electric Utilities,” Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities, October 2015
  • Presenter, “Unmanned Aircraft Systems – A Drone Law Overview for Business Lawyers,” Colorado Business Law Institute, October 2015
  • Speaker, “Battery Storage: Is the Holy Grail Within Reach?” Energy Innovations Summit, October 2015
  • Speaker, Legal and Insurance Roundtable, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Annual Rocky Mountain Symposium, November 2015
  • Presenter, “Drones in the Real Estate Industry: What You Need to Know,” Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR), July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," Mid-Summer Meeting, Colorado Farm Bureau, July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones for Lawyers -- The Do's and Don'ts for Clients," Colorado Bar Association, CLE Presentation, July 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," Annual Convention, Colorado Cattlemen's Association, June 2015
  • Presenter, "Drones and Agriculture," American Farm Bureau Federation, June 2015
  • Presenter, "Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Electric Cooperatives," Colorado Rural Electric Association, May 2015
  • Speaker, "Energy Storage: Still the Next Big Thing," Energy Innovations Summit, October, 2014
  • Speaker, "The Relationship Between Transmission and Renewable Energy," University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, April 2013
  • Speaker, "Nuclear Power for the Future," Energy Innovations Summit, October 2012
  • Speaker, "Current Issues and Challenges in Electric Transmission Siting," Energy Bar Association, National Teleconference, September 2012
  • Speaker, "Scenario Planning Our Way to the Land of Oz?" Colorado Water Congress, Energy and Water Conference, August 2012
  • Speaker, "FERC Order No. 1000 Compliance Efforts," Western Transmission Roundup Conference, April 2012
  • Speaker, "Regulatory and Legal Challenges to Transmission Development," Western Transmission Roundup Conference, June 2011
  • Speaker, "The Co-op Utility Perspective: Finances and the Promotion of Renewable Energy," Renewable Energy Transmission Conference, June 2010
  • Speaker, "Special Districts' Use of Eminent Domain Power," Lorman Education Services Special Districts Seminar, April 2006
  • Speaker, "Easement Changes: When Must You Condemn New or Additional Property Rights?" Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2005
  • Speaker, "First Amendment and Religious Land Use Trends," National Conference, National Association of Church Business Administration, July 2005
  • Speaker, "Condemnation of Religious Institutions' Property: Implications of Their Unique Legal Status," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2004
  • Speaker, "Current Issues in Urban Renewal," Colorado Municipal League Annual Conference, June 2004
  • Speaker, "Eminent Domain Case of the Year: The Villa Italia Project," Annual Colorado Eminent Domain Conference, August 2003
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